However, in other cases, swelling in the feet, ankles, or lower legs can be the sign of a new health problem, or a worsening chronic condition. And, even if it’s “benign” and not related to a dangerous health condition, edema can be a major risk factor for skin breakdown and reduced mobility in aging adults.
What does swollen feet in elderly mean?
Legs, ankles, and feet swell when excess fluid is pulled down by gravity and builds up in the lower body. This is called edema and it’s common in older adults and usually happens on both sides of the body. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis.
Is foot swelling life threatening?
Swollen legs and ankles may be a result of a benign cause or a potentially life-threatening condition. A person should see their doctor if the swelling is sudden, unexplained, or accompanied by additional symptoms.
When should I be concerned about swollen feet?
When should you call the doctor? “Report your symptoms to your doctor if there’s so much swelling that it leaves an indentation if you press your finger into it, or if it has developed suddenly, lasts for more than a few days, affects just one foot, or is accompanied by pain or discoloration of the skin,” Dr.
How do I know if my foot swelling is serious?
When to see a doctor Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have swelling, stretched or shiny skin, or skin that retains a dimple after being pressed (pitting). See your doctor immediately if you experience: Shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing.
How do you reduce swelling in elderly feet?
Some tips that may help reduce swelling:
- Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down.
- Exercise your legs.
- Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling.
- Wear support stockings (sold at most drugstores and medical supply stores).
What happens if edema is left untreated?
If left untreated, edema can lead to increasingly painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation.
Is swollen feet an emergency?
Seek medical care right away if your legs swell for no apparent reason, especially if you have unexplained leg pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain or other warning signs of a blood clot in your lungs or a heart condition. Many factors — varying greatly in severity — can cause leg swelling.
Is edema in the legs life threatening?
Most of the time, the edema is not a serious illness, but it may be a sign for one. Here are some examples: Venous insufficiency can cause edema in the feet and ankles, because the veins are having trouble transporting enough blood all the way to the feet and back to the heart.
Can dehydration cause swollen feet?
Stay Hydrated – dehydration causes the constriction of blood vessels leading to the forcing of fluids into the extracellular spaces between cells leading to retention particularly in the lower limbs.
When should you go to the hospital for edema?
Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, or inability to catch your breath. Edema occurs when excess fluid collects in the tissues of your body, resulting in swelling of the feet, fingers, hands, legs and other parts of the body.
What helps swollen feet from heart failure?
Rest: People may benefit from taking frequent breaks from standing to elevate the feet, which can ease swelling and any related pain. Fluids: Drinking more water may help with swelling, but a dramatic increase in water intake may actually make it worse. A person should ask their doctor how much water to drink each day.
How do I get rid of fluid in my legs and feet?
Lifestyle and home remedies
- Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema, especially your legs, may help pump the excess fluid back toward your heart.
- Reduce salt intake.
What medications cause swollen feet?
Medications that may cause the feet to swell include:
- hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.
- calcium-channel blockers that help control blood pressure.
- steroids, both androgenic and anabolic, and corticosteroids.
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- medication to help manage diabetes.
Why would the top of your foot swell?
A swollen foot may be caused blood vessel blockage, lymphatic blockage, or trauma from an injury. Other causes of swelling in one foot include skin infections like cellulitis, or ankle arthritis which can also be the cause of one swollen ankle.
Does walking help swollen ankles?
Tips to reduce ankle and foot swelling Simple lifestyle changes — such as exercise and weight loss — also can help reduce or prevent swelling while also improving your overall health, says Dr. Botek. She suggested activities such as walking and swimming.